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Switch to Forum Live View Tolerating Those in Your Own Faith
6 years ago  ::  Aug 23, 2008 - 3:57PM #1
TigersEyeDowsing
Posts: 6,833
It seems in every faith we have those who push the boundaries.  We followers of Christ have the right-wing Religious Reich, and evangelists who feel their way is the "only" way.  They stand in the way of equality and progression.  In Islam, there is the Taliban, who also claim they have the "only" way and have a violent nature opposed by general Islam.  Gilly has mentioned there are Pagans and Wiccans who feel they are the only "true" followers of their faith.  I'm sure there are other examples.

The problem is, when someone thinks "Christian", "Muslim", or "Pagan", these are often the first images that cross their mind.  How do we tolerate those who hijack our religion, and at the same time take back our faith for what it truly is meant to be?
Churchianity, by substituting creed for Christ and dogma instead of the divine facts of being, has stripped Love of her royal robes and has left her standing an unheeded beggar in the universe of God. - Rev. W. John Murray
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 23, 2008 - 4:18PM #2
gillyflower
Posts: 5,325
We force ourselves if necessary to be vocal, to be a voice that says "no we don't all believe that." Too many of us see the crazy of our own religion and back off. In my case, a bit of that has to do with not wanting to get into a screaming match with someone who is not going to respect me or my viewpoint. I'm not going to change their minds or shut them up and face it, the crazies are much more flamboyant - better copy - than normal people. It's always been that way.
Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. Marcus Aurelius
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 23, 2008 - 4:30PM #3
TigersEyeDowsing
Posts: 6,833
[QUOTE=gillyflower;712270] the crazies are much more flamboyant - better copy - than normal people. It's always been that way.[/QUOTE]

*Sigh* unfortunately...
Churchianity, by substituting creed for Christ and dogma instead of the divine facts of being, has stripped Love of her royal robes and has left her standing an unheeded beggar in the universe of God. - Rev. W. John Murray
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 23, 2008 - 5:02PM #4
Heretic_for_Christ
Posts: 5,488
Fanatics have an appeal to some people -- those who would rather hear "There is absolutely no doubt that two plus two equals five" than "Given our current understanding of mathematical principles, we can surmise that two plus two equals four." They demand absolute certainty. Uncertainty means having to take responsibility for the choices (certainty precludes choice -- there is only one possible way).

So fanaticism appeals to the most immature members of society. There may also be an element of fear in confronting fanatics -- physical fear of violence, or fear of being perceived as less holy.

But all religions face this issue, and the proper response is NOT tolerance. Fanaticism is a cancer that eats away at itself as well as its neighbors. The proper medical-surgical response to malignancy is to try to eradicate it, not learn to tolerate it. That is not possible with fanaticism -- it cannot be bombed out of existence. But neither can it or should it be tolerated, because it is NOT just a difference in point-of-view. It is the root cause of most of the violence and war that exist in the world. There is a war going on right now, and it is the same war that has been going on for centuries. We call it by different names at different times, but it is all the same war. Not East vs West, not Muslim vs Hindu/Christian/Jew. Not Shia vs Sunni. No, the real war is fanaticism vs rationality. Rational people do not make war. (Yeah, I know -- wars are also started by secular tinpot conquerors. Which merely proves that fanaticism is not found solely within religion; there are also political fanatics.)

Since we cannot eradicate fanaticism and we must not tolerate it, the only answer is to marginalize it -- a long, slow process by which the rational people of a faith muzzle the fanatics, the hate-preachers, the brain-dead dogmatists, telling them to shut up and stop desecrating their faith. There will always be a hard-core of fanatics who will convince themselves that they alone are preserving the True Faith -- but the goal is for the rest of society to recognize them for what they really are -- crackpots.

And to bring the process around full-circle, THEN, when the fanatics are marginalized, it is possible to tolerate them, for they will no longer be dangerous. Even if they kill for their faith, it would be like the murders committed by a psychopathic serial killer -- tragic for the victims and their families, but no threat to the social and geopolitical order.
I prayed for deliverance from the hard world of facts and logic to the happy land where fantasy and prejudice reign. But God spake unto me, saying, "No, keep telling the truth," and to that end afflicted me with severe Trenchant Mouth. So I'm sorry for making cutting remarks, but it's the will of God.
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 23, 2008 - 5:18PM #5
TPaine
Posts: 9,488
[QUOTE=Heretic_for_Christ;712395]Fanatics have an appeal to some people -- those who would rather hear "There is absolutely no doubt that two plus two equals five" than "Given our current understanding of mathematical principles, we can surmise that two plus two equals four." They demand absolute certainty. Uncertainty means having to take responsibility for the choices (certainty precludes choice -- there is only one possible way).

So fanaticism appeals to the most immature members of society. There may also be an element of fear in confronting fanatics -- physical fear of violence, or fear of being perceived as less holy.

But all religions face this issue, and the proper response is NOT tolerance. Fanaticism is a cancer that eats away at itself as well as its neighbors. The proper medical-surgical response to malignancy is to try to eradicate it, not learn to tolerate it. That is not possible with fanaticism -- it cannot be bombed out of existence. But neither can it or should it be tolerated, because it is NOT just a difference in point-of-view. It is the root cause of most of the violence and war that exist in the world. There is a war going on right now, and it is the same war that has been going on for centuries. We call it by different names at different times, but it is all the same war. Not East vs West, not Muslim vs Hindu/Christian/Jew. Not Shia vs Sunni. No, the real war is fanaticism vs rationality. Rational people do not make war. (Yeah, I know -- wars are also started by secular tinpot conquerors. Which merely proves that fanaticism is not found solely within religion; there are also political fanatics.)

Since we cannot eradicate fanaticism and we must not tolerate it, the only answer is to marginalize it -- a long, slow process by which the rational people of a faith muzzle the fanatics, the hate-preachers, the brain-dead dogmatists, telling them to shut up and stop desecrating their faith. There will always be a hard-core of fanatics who will convince themselves that they alone are preserving the True Faith -- but the goal is for the rest of society to recognize them for what they really are -- crackpots.

And to bring the process around full-circle, THEN, when the fanatics are marginalized, it is possible to tolerate them, for they will no longer be dangerous. Even if they kill for their faith, it would be like the murders committed by a psychopathic serial killer -- tragic for the victims and their families, but no threat to the social and geopolitical order.[/QUOTE]

HfC,
Isn't marginalizing the Religious Reich exactly what many of us here in these forums are attempting to do when we respond to their posts by countering their fantasies with facts? I realize that most never bother to counter these facts, but just continue to recite what they're programed to recite by their power-hungry fascist leaders. However, I tend to believe we have a positive effect on the lurkers who read these threads. If we can keep just one from joining the fanatics, I believe we have accomplished something worthwhile.
"The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which other rights are protected. To take away this right is to reduce a man to slavery, for slavery consists in being subject to the will of another, and he that has not a vote in the election of representatives is in this case." Thomas Paine:
Dissertation on First Principles of Government (July 1795)
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 23, 2008 - 6:11PM #6
Heretic_for_Christ
Posts: 5,488
TPaine,
I agree, and that is why I participate on these boards. However, I am a heretic, so my words do not carry much weight with the religious. The most effective message is the voice of the rational people WITHIN the faith.
I prayed for deliverance from the hard world of facts and logic to the happy land where fantasy and prejudice reign. But God spake unto me, saying, "No, keep telling the truth," and to that end afflicted me with severe Trenchant Mouth. So I'm sorry for making cutting remarks, but it's the will of God.
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 25, 2008 - 2:02PM #7
Agnosticspirit
Posts: 9,244
Heretic, you're quite correct that tolerating the fanatics isn't the answer; marginalizing them IS. Christian fanatics are pretty marginalized by the majority of Christians. If only moderate mainstream Muslims would speak out against the fanatics within their own faith, Muslims who approve of and support atrocities in the name of their faith will someday become just as marginalized.
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 25, 2008 - 2:29PM #8
itty
Posts: 2,949
[QUOTE=agnosticspirit;713701]Heretic, you're quite correct that tolerating the fanatics isn't the answer; marginalizing them IS. Christian fanatics are pretty marginalized by the majority of Christians. If only moderate mainstream Muslims would speak out against the fanatics within their own faith, Muslims who approve of and support atrocities in the name of their faith will someday become just as marginalized.[/QUOTE]

AS you may be right that mainstream Christianity have marginalized Christian fanatics. I am not that certain. There are several converstions here in these forums where one Christian evangelical, a fanatic in my book, is anything but marginalized. His POV about utilizing the court system to chip steadily and quietly away at the laws of this courntry is going on out there in real life. That, if not checked, will eventually create such a patchwork of religiously based case law that we will be, for all intents and purposes, a theocracy. The mainstream Christians in this nation may have marginalized the evangelical interpretation of doctrine but they aren't really speaking out much against what  I just outlined. They don't seem to be able to do so.I am not certain why this is the case. I know some denominations are better organized and are trying to do so.  My opinion.

I agree that more mainsream Muslims do need to take a stand against the fanatics in their religion. I hope these good people will do so.
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 25, 2008 - 6:18PM #9
wontgetfooledagain
Posts: 5,472

Friend! wrote:

Ofcourse as a born again, Bible believer myself, I can say with absolute authority that we in the evangelical mainstream would very much welcome your dialog. God is great enough to win anyone to Himself!




Since you are a bible believing evangelical ... I'm sure you will love this video... :)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15u6fHkICxc



Rob

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6 years ago  ::  Aug 25, 2008 - 6:45PM #10
xequar
Posts: 662
[QUOTE=itty;713780]AS you may be right that mainstream Christianity have marginalized Christian fanatics. I am not that certain. There are several converstions here in these forums where one Christian evangelical, a fanatic in my book, is anything but marginalized. His POV about utilizing the court system to chip steadily and quietly away at the laws of this courntry is going on out there in real life. [/QUOTE][COLOR="Silver"]Ixnay on the anatic-fay[/COLOR].  *points toward a certain someone in this thread*
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